DSU men lose big to BYU-Hawaii, will await NCAA tourney bid

Dixie State University vs. Chaminade University, Men's Basketball, St. George, Utah, Feb. 12, 2015 | Photo by Robert Hoppie, ASPpix.com, St. George News

IRVINE, Calif. – Zach Robbins and Mark Ogden Jr. combined to score 30 points in the frontcourt, but the top-seeded Dixie State men’s basketball team dropped a 98-75 decision to BYU-Hawaii in the Pacific West Conference semifinal at the CU Arena on Friday night.

Scott Friel tied the PacWest tournament record with a career-high 31 points and Ian Harward added 14 points, seven rebounds and four blocks for the Seasiders (23-5).

dsulogoBYUH shot 55 percent from the floor, including 11-of-24 from behind the 3-point arc, to down the Red Storm (20-7) with a potent offensive punch. Robbins had 16 points with an 8-of-12 shooting night. Ogden was 4-of-7 on the night from the field and 5-of-8 from the foul line.

“They flat out kicked us pretty good,” Dixie State head coach Jon Judkins said. “I thought we battled in the second half … but we had two tough turnovers and gave up two big threes to jump back up again.”

A 29-10 rally over an eight-minute span paced the Seasiders to as large as a 31-point lead.

“It’s a tough one to swallow,” Judkins added. “We were prepared, but give them credit for playing well.”

Dixie State led 14-9 in the opening minutes of the game after DeQuan Thompson hit his second 3-pointer of the game, but BYU-Hawaii went on a 21-6 scoring run to lead by 10, 30-20, at the eight-minute mark. The Storm pulled within nine points (37-28) with 5:29 remaining before BYUH closed out the half strong to claim a 50-37 halftime cushion.

Dixie State buckled down on defense early in the second half after falling behind by 17 points. Mason Sawyer had five points in an 8-0 run capped off by a transition 3-pointer from the left wing. The rally sputtered out after a pair of turnovers and a missed long distance shot held DSU without a point for over two minutes.

The Seasiders bolted out to an insurmountable lead with six 3-point makes over the span of four minutes.

Dixie State shot 50 percent from the field, but BYUH continued their blistering shot-making that began the night before in a quarterfinal win against Point Loma.

BYU-Hawaii will battle California Baptist for the PacWest title on Saturday. The Lancers defeated Azusa Pacific on Saturday afternoon, 78-67.

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Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2015, all rights reserved.

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